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Old 11-26-2012, 10:44 AM   #1 
Sivan
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Temporary Gravel Vacuum Substitute

Hello!

I brought Crusoe to my parents' home this Thanksgiving because I had to stay for a few days and he decided to become a tail bitter two days before we left, nipping his tail into a beautiful artistic rendering of shredded paper. I brought him with me to keep an eye on him and keep his water extra clean, as well as providing minor salt treatments to prevent infection.

Since I always forget something, I returned home 7.5 hours later only to realise that I forgot his gravel vacuum at my parents' home to drain in the bathtub. I will be returning to their home for the holidays in almost exactly 3 weeks, so running to buy a new one or having them mail it to me is silly. And, honestly, I cannot afford much right now so it would not be within budget.

I was wondering what a good substitute is for a gravel vacuum BESIDES a turkey baster. I do not have one and do not want to go and buy one since I will have no other use for it. I just treated Crusoe to a new thermometer and floating betta log, so I really want to avoid purchasing anything else unnecessary for the next few weeks. I do have some plastic siphon tubing around here somewhere and although I detest sucking in fish water, I'll do it for the time being to perform 50% water changes on his beautiful cycled 5 gallon tank. However, I do not think the tubing will be strong enough to dig through the gravel effectively enough to suck out poop.

Any suggestions to what I can use? I'm really hoping I happen to have something lying around that I can use for the 3 whole water changes he'll need in that time.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #2 
tromboneplaya
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I would just do a stir and scoop sort of thing. Like kind of stir up the gravel to get dirt moving then scoop out water with a cup. Probably not the best solution, but it's my only idea...
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #3 
Bazinga
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Hi,
you could use a length of garden house or syphon tubing, put the sucking end into a small plastic drinks bottle with a wide mouth, then clasp your hands around the top of the bottle and suck! I do this as it stops me getting a mouthfull of poo water lol
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:59 AM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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You could do the stir and dip method-all you need is a plastic cup, something to stir with and a bucket for the waste water.

Stir and dip method-
Turn off the filter, using something like a wooden spoon, chopsticks, hands, anything will work. Give the substrate a slight stir to bring the mulm/debris up into the water column and dip half the water out.
Replace with like temp dechlorinated water.
Turn the filter back on
The water should clear within the hour-If not, then you either missed a water change, overfeeding or overstocked.

You don't want or need to remove all the mulm/debris in the tank-you have both good and bad stuff in the tank that creates a balance. The good keeps the bad controlled and if you disrupt the balance the bad can take over-not to mention antibody development.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:04 AM   #5 
Sivan
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Thanks everyone!

And thank you as always, OldFishLady. Sometimes I stir the water to help get the poop from the gravel when I use the vacuum anyway. This seems very workable with my situation. Thank you!
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:23 PM   #6 
Ilikebutterflies
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Go to your vet/large animal supply/pharmacy and get a 60CC syringe (no needle) to suck start your siphon hose. Seriously that's all I use, lol. They cost about $1.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #7 
Bazinga
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Good thinking :) was wondering myself where to get a large syringe, handy for feeding brine shrimp! Thanks
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:22 AM   #8 
SparklE fin
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How to start a siphon without using your mouth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_lFt...e_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rny1...e_gdata_player
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:49 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklE fin View Post
I didn't watch the second video but the first is how I usually do it. If I just use the tubing, like in my 5.5, all I do is a very brief suck. Never had tank water in my mouth.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:07 AM   #10 
ao
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i use an airline to siphon...
when I had gravel, i simply stir up the gravel and wave the end ofthe airline in the stirred up debris. the speed of a siphon is determined by the difference in height. so if you place the bucket on the floor and place the outlet of the airline as close as you can to the bottom, it shouldnt take too long to do a WC
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